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Objectives: we aimed to analyze incidence and costs of hip fractures in Italy. Methods: we analyzed the Italian Ministry of Health national hospitalization and DRGs databases concerning fractures occurred in people ≥65 between 2003 and 2005. We have estimated incidence and direct costs sustained by the National Health Service for hospitalization and treatment of hip fractures on the basis of the value of the Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) referring to hip fractures. The expenses of rehabilitation and indirect costs were based on regional estimations. Results: between 2003 and 2005 we registered almost 90,000 hospital admissions per year (corresponding to 75,000 patients) because of hip fractures in people aged ≥65. Women accounted for the majority of hospital admissions due to hip fractures (78.0%; n=214,519). Among women, 84.3% of fractures (n=180,861) occurred in patients ≥75, which is known to be the age group with the highest prevalence of osteoporosis. Hospitalizations of both men and women showed an increasing trend across all the examined period. Hospital costs increased up to 467 million euros in 2005, while rehabilitation costs rose up to 531 million in the same year. Conclusions: hip fractures in the Italian population are increasing and represent a major public health challenge.
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